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The Arènes de Lutèce are among the most important remains from the Gallo-Roman era in Paris (known in antiquity as Lutetia, or Lutèce in French), together with the Thermes de Cluny. Lying in what is now the Latin Quarter, this amphitheater could once seat 15,000 people, and was used to present gladiatorial combats.
The amazing thing about Paris is how it can have a huge, mostly-preserved Roman arena sitting in a quiet neighborhood and almost no one goes there. In a city like this, this monument is just a municipal park, and almost an afterthought; whereas it would be the crown jewel of many other cities. It is a quiet, contemplative place where the locals lounge on benches.
Seek out this Roman ruin in the 5th. Enter through a tunnel type gateway and imagine yourself a combatant. It is also a park for the neighborhood.
Do you know how "Paris" was called during the Gallo-roman period? That was one of the interesting things that I learnt about Paris, reading its history in antiquity--that of more than 20 centuries ago. Paris was known in antiquity as Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"). The Arènes de Lutèce are among the most important remains from the Gallo-Roman era where I came to see today. Constructed in the 1st century AD, this amphitheater must have seen thousands of men and women, watching particularly the gladiators! It's one of the rather less-known places of Paris though.
My favourite hidden secret to show friends and family visiting me. Who knew Paris had Roman ruins? Les Arenes du Lutece is the perfect place to hang out for a picnic *visit the Market at Place Monge Wednesday Friday or Sunday and grab sauccison, fruit, cheese, a crusty baguette, and a bottle of wine- and live like a Frenchy. Make sure to go behind it and check out the lively little playground and garden.
Kids playing soccer, locals playing pétanque. To sit and enjoy the sunlight at the end of an afternoon walk. Great to bring the kids and enjoy a little playground. Clean public wc.